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Hit-and-run accident leaves 1 injured and 1 dead in Tennessee

A Tennessee man is behind bars after hitting two pedestrians with his truck, killing one.

The truck driver was a Tennessee native -- while the victims were co-workers from India, temporarily visiting Nashville at the behest of their employer for training.

After striking the men, who were walking with a group from a restaurant, the driver kept on going. He later turned himself in at the police station where he alleged that he thought he'd simply struck a barrel in the road until he saw blood on his truck when he got home.

The driver, who seemed impaired when he turned himself in, admitted to smoking marijuana -- although he claimed he did so after the accident.

Police are doubtful of his story, however. They believe the driver fled the scene because he had neither a driver's license nor auto insurance. By fleeing the scene, the driver may have also hoped officers would be unable to ascertain whether he actually smoked the drug before or after the accident.

The truck driver is now charged with vehicular homicide, leaving an accident scene and failing to report the accident, among additional charges related to the invalid license and lack of insurance.

Vehicular homicide is a serious charge -- it rests on the idea that the driver acted recklessly, creating a serious risk of injury or death to others. One basis for the charge is intoxication due to alcohol or drugs, indicating that police believe the driver. A Class B felony, that charge alone could net the driver a prison term of eight to 30 years and a fine of $25,000.

Victims (or their families) often have a difficult time collecting any compensation for their injuries from uninsured motorists. Sometimes the driver will have assets that can be seized and sold to pay a judgment. Other times, there may be someone else who shares the responsibility for the accident. For example, if the driver were running errands for work, his employer could be held responsible for the damage.

Because it often takes an expert to determine who can be held responsible in cases like these, accident reconstructionists are often called in to testify in court actions. An attorney can provide more information on how to prove fault in an accident.

Source: Fox 17 News Nashville, "Police: Driver in Donelson crash that killed pedestrian had no license, insurance," July 31, 2017

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